The Business Case: 5 Reasons to Employ Veterans

Military service fosters leadership, organisational skills, resilience and many other unique qualities which are a great asset to the private sector. 

With rising employment levels, companies must compete harder to find qualified candidates. A growing number of employers are targeting veterans to fill their skills gap as they represent a ready-made source of top talent which businesses can tap into with the right recruitment process.

Military servicemen and women are extremely well trained. Their unique skills and behaviours will be an asset to any company.
— Dr. Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer at Jaguar Land Rover

Veterans have strong technical skills and unique qualities

  • With over 200 trades in the Army alone, many veterans are trained and experienced in a range of technical roles, including engineering, project management, HR, policing, transport, logistics, IT and communications – all transferable to the civilian workplace.
  • Organisations that employ veterans report that they exhibit much needed cross-functional skills, notably team-working, motivating others, powers of communication, problem-solving, organisational skills and strategic thinking.
  • Veterans have excellent leadership skills, with increasing responsibilities placed on them as they progress through the ranks. 

Veterans have valuable attitudes and are adaptable

  • Veterans bring valuable attitudes and behaviours to the commercial workforce, such as loyalty, mission focus, willingness to accept responsibility, strong work ethic, resilience and a positive ‘can-do’ attitude.
  • They are accustomed to working in highly pressurised environments and know how to act decisively and calmly. They are also known for their adaptability, a skill gained from experience of working across geographies and diverse environments.
  • Military personnel are constantly learning and training throughout their career, employers report that these same individuals remain very trainable and capable of learning new skills in the private sector. 

Veterans make highly effective employees

  • Many employers report increased loyalty and engagement amongst their ex-military employees. In a survey of 50 employers carried out by Deloitte, 76% of employers said that veterans tend to have lower rates of sickness absence when compared to their non-veteran workforce and are likely to be promoted more quickly. 40% also said veterans stay for longer.
  • As one of the largest employers of veterans in the UK, BT has shown that the company’s veteran employees have a higher retention rate, lower sick absence rates and fewer early leavers due to performance or discipline issues, and that there is potential for significant productivity gains in the first six months of an employee’s service due to some veterans taking less time to achieve full competence. 

Employing veterans is good for business and society

  • A survey of 100 employers carried out by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) showed that 74% of employers wish to publicly support the Armed Forces. Many described their pledges as 'the right thing to do' that reflect favourably on public perceptions of their company. 
  • Employers that make a particular effort to hire disadvantaged military jobseekers will help to reduce the cost of unemployment for wider society. 
  • Recruiting veterans also reflects the social responsibility of an employer and builds goodwill with the military community, customers and employees. 

Veterans fill skills gaps

  • Recent research strongly suggests the skills which many veterans possess are a close match for skill shortages that employers face today
  • Survey data from Deloitte highlights that veterans are well-placed to meet critical gaps in cross-functional skills, which include strategic management, managing or motivating staff, team-working and positive attitude.